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Can an Independent Contractor Receive Workers’ Compensation in Florida?  

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An independent contractor working in construction can receive Worker’s Compensation in Florida.  

Outside of the construction industry, if an employee has been misclassified as a 1099 independent contractor, they also may be able to receive workers compensation. 

The compassionate and skillful workers compensation attorneys of Kogan & DiSalvo help injured Floridians every day in obtaining the compensation they deserve. Reach out to us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation today. 

How Do I Know If I’m Entitled to Workers Compensation? 

Header area of a workers' compensation application form

When you work in the construction industry as an independent contractor in Florida and you get hurt on a job, you are entitled to workers compensation.  

Every construction contractor company in Florida is required to carry workers compensation insurance—even when they only have one or two employees.  

Florida defines the construction industry broadly to include “for-profit activities involving any building, clearing, filling, excavation, or substantial improvement in the size or use of any structure or the appearance of any land.”  

If you work outside of the construction industry and your employer denies a workers compensation claim by falsely claiming you are an independent contractor, you may still be entitled to benefits. Florida law is what matters.

What Is a Misclassified Employee? 

Silhouette of construction workers standing on a construction site with cranes and a sunset in the background

Employers try to save money by hiring employees on a “1099” or independent contractor basis. Many “1099” gig workers are entitled to workers compensation and other benefits because they are gig workers in name only. They don’t meet the legal test for an independent contractor. Therefore, the real nature of their employment is that of a statutory employee who has been misclassified.  

You probably have been misclassified unless you fit within at least four of the following elements under Florida law: 

  1. You have a separate business at another facility with your own equipment. 
  1. You are a sole proprietor or you have a federal employer identification number. 
  1. Your compensation is paid to a business and not to an individual. 
  1. You have a business bank account. 
  1. Your business—not you individually—is paid for work performed. 
  1. You may work for others without getting permission from your current employer, and your compensation is based on competitive bid or completion of task. 

Even if you don’t meet four of the above criteria, other factors also matter. They include how much control you have over the work you do, and whether you’re paid on a per-job basis.

Why Was I Misclassified? 

A close-up of workers' compensation reporting paperwork

Being misclassified doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. In fact, you’re the one who is suffering because you’ve been denied valuable benefits. Employers misclassify workers to save money. While the practice has become increasingly common, that doesn’t make it fair to victimized workers.  

How Much Are Workers Comp Benefits? 

Two people sitting at a desk with a computer reviewing a legal document

Workers compensation is a highly valuable benefit provided by employers and the State of Florida to help employees when they are hurt at work. Typical benefits are two-thirds of the average weekly wage you earned before your accident. If you suffered a severe injury, you potentially could receive as much as 80% of your weekly wage.  

The benefits generally are tax free, which enhances their value. Workers compensation benefits may continue for up to two years, and possibly longer if your doctor says your condition won’t improve even with medical treatment.  

Workers compensation is no-fault insurance; your boss can’t refuse to file for coverage by laying blame for the accident on you. 

Employers often intentionally misclassify workers. If you suspect you’ve been misclassified, or if you’ve been denied workers compensation by your employer, the workers compensation lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo can pursue the benefits that are your right under Florida law. Call us for a no-obligation, free consultation today. 

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